Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Noodles & Pearls

Never let it be said, dear reader, that Rhino75 is unadventurous when it comes to the wonderful world of cuisine. While it's true that my fridge is normally full of champagne, gourmet chocolate and rhubarb yoghurt, a man (even a gay one) cannot live on such delicacies alone (unfortunately). Sometimes one needs something just a little bit more, well, substantial. And so when Pierre suggested an initiation to Taiwanese food - specifically beef noodles and tea with tapioca pearls - I jumped at it. ZenZoo is a tiny little place but 100% the real deal, I'm assured by Pierre and a Taiwanese friend who came with us - apart from the prices, which have been brought up in line with the rest of the restaurants in the rue Sainte-Anne area. The beef noodles - only available at the weekend - were fantastic. The meat melted in my mouth, while the broth was spicier and less salty than you'd get with Japanese ramen, for example. Deelish, though I confess the sheer quantity of noodles defeated me. Plus it came with two side-dishes, fried cod and seasoned tofu. The best bit though was the tea. I chickened out of having the tapioca pearls - which I regretted once I'd tasted them. It's a strange idea to get your head round, sweet tea with black wine gums in the bottom that you suck up through a big straw, but I liked it. Most of the people around us were drinking a version with milk, which looked a little off-putting but is probably yummy too. Anyway, if you get a chance to go, I'd definitely recommend the place. They have puddings too, but we were all feeling a bit of a cheesecake craving and so nipped over the road to La Ferme, which didn't disappoint either. A top way to spend an afternoon.

5 comments:

Pierre said...

Hey hey hey! Here's a new Taiwan food-addicted!

Even as a sweet tooth, I think they put too much sugar in their tea. But it's OK: as in a real Taiwanese tea booth, you can ask them "half-sugar" (bai tang).
As for the tapioca pearls, it looks weird, but it's very tasty after all... and it's not the weirdest, actually: in Taiwan, you can also find "frog eggs" in some drinks, which look even scarier!

Glad you liked it!

The Late Bloomer said...

Having worked right in that neighborhood, I've spent a lot of time on rue Saint-Anne, trying out the different Japanese outlets. I know there are only a few authentic ones, and once you try the good ones, it's damn hard to go back to the fake Japanese steakhouse and soi-disant sushi places...

But I didn't know about this Taiwanese place -- you've piqued my curiosity! Another excuse to go back. (Sometimes I think I spend more time in that neighborhood now that I DON'T work near there anymore...)

La Ferme was always good for a rich hot chocolate in the winter -- except when their milk had gone bad... YIKES!

rhino75 said...

It was FAB, Pierre, though I don't know if I'm ready for frog eggs in my tea yet - one step at a time! Late Bloomer, honestly, it's worth going. And the same people have also opened up a little tea shop a few yards away (Thesaurus on the site). La Ferme hot choc sounds GOOD....

frog with a blog said...

Yum! I work in that neighborhood, yay! Let's take Pierre and Late Bloomer and throw a lunch date next week!

Any takers?

Katia said...

OOoooh bubble tea! I love love love love love it and miss it so much! Thankyou for this address!